What does no. 1 in digital marketing mean?

A lot of us want our digital marketing efforts to ensure we reach the first spot on Google, or to help us build the most followers on Instagram. But what does no. 1 in digital marketing really mean? Is the first result on Google search really that different to the first page? Do hundreds of followers equal more sales? And will more clicks on your Google Ad bring greater ROI?

When setting goals for your marketing campaign it’s important to understand the difference between metrics that will help you measure success and ones that will look good on paper but do little to increase conversions.

Vanity metrics vs. actionable metrics

Vanity metrics are a type of measurable outcome which show increased popularity but typically have little effect on your user engagement and hence, your conversion rate. Actionable metrics, however, can be tied to increased engagement and therefore should bring in more conversions.

Let’s use influencer marketing as an example. Influencer marketing is a global multi-billion dollar industry where brands collaborate with popular social media users and bloggers to reach a new audience. Instagram is the most popular platform with 78% of influencers worldwide using this for their brand collaborations. The types of influencers range from micro-influencers with between 5,000 and 25,000 followers all the way up to macro-influencers who have between 1 and 7 million followers.

While many of us assume the more followers you have, the more influential you are, the number of followers does not directly relate to the amount of engagement. It’s estimated that an Instagram post will reach 25-35% of your followers, but only around 16.7% of that audience is truly valuable to brands. Once you eliminate users in countries other than your target locale and those who follow you but rarely engage with your content, you’re looking at only a small segment of users being engaged by posts. Therefore, looking at an influencers follower count alone is not enough to prove their accounts true reach.

In this scenario, the total number of followers would be a vanity metric as it is impressive to look at but isn’t equal to engagement. An actionable metric would be how many of your followers engaged with the post by liking, commenting or sharing. The actionable metric would be closer to 16.7% of your audience but this doesn’t mean it’s not useful. It means that measuring success should be less about the big, impressive numbers or reaching peak popularity and more about realistic engagement expectations.


What do vanity metrics look like for different channels?

Vanity metrics exist in all kinds of digital marketing campaigns, like SEO, PPC and even content. Here’s what vanity metrics might look like for these channels:


For an SEO campaign, an example of vanity metrics is total page views. By securing the number 1 spot on Google search you’re likely to receive the most page views. But, lots of views doesn’t automatically equal customer engagement. Bounce rate is a much more actionable metric as it shows you how many of those views turned into users visiting another page on your site. It tells you whether they were inspired to learn more or whether they left without the information required. You may be proud of your number 1 ranking in Google search, but it won’t help you convert customers if users leave the page without engaging further with your business.


Similar to SEO, content is regularly measured on how many views an article receives. Views are important but they’re only part of the story. Time spent on page and bounce rate are both more actionable metrics for content. How long a user spends on the page will give you more insight into whether they read your article, while bounce rate will tell you if the article incentivised them to click through to another page of your website.


When it comes to PPC you want every click to be worth the money spent on it. Even if you achieve a low cost per click and a high number of clicks; you need conversions to achieve a good ROI. So, instead of reporting on how many clicks an ad receives, track how many conversions. And instead of checking endlessly your cost per click, look into your cost per conversion. If you have a high number of conversions and a low cost per conversion, then you know that your ad is successfully pulling in users ready to purchase.

Why are vanity metrics used so often?

Despite the fact they can be misleading, vanity metrics are readily available on many analytics platforms. So, why are they so prominent and highly reported? The simple answer is, they’re the easiest metrics to track and explain. People with little marketing knowledge are able to find and understand vanity metrics quickly in their analytics platforms and often won’t think too much about whether they’re valuable measures of success. The problem is vanity metrics fluctuate easily and when you use them as your main measure of success, any fluctuations can be seen as failures. If your campaign is continuing to generate leads, even with lower vanity metrics, then it is working.

When are vanity metrics useful?

There are some instances where vanity metrics are a valuable measure of success. For example, if your marketing strategy is largely focused on increasing brand awareness then how many views you receive, how many followers you have or where you rank on Google can be valuable measurements. But they need to be taken with context. Do these measurements show growth on your previous performance? If you are growing month on month you can reasonably expect that brand awareness is growing and more users are finding your business.

It’s also important to remember that the buyer journey is long. It will take multiple interactions with your brand before a user is ready to purchase. Once you’ve noticed your brand awareness improving, you should begin tracking actionable metrics to measure engagement. With both vanity and actionable metrics in your reporting, you can properly assess whether your marketing strategy is increasing your audience reach and conversions.


Assess your marketing goals with Netregistry

Tracking the success of your marketing campaign is one of the most time-consuming and confusing parts, which is why vanity metrics are so popular. If you’re finding it hard to understand what counts as digital marketing success; let us explain it to you. Our team are experts in their field and can help you achieve your business goals with actionable metrics to back them up. Talk to our consultants about your business goals on 1300 638 734.

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The Mystery behind Domain Names

There are approximately 142.5 million .COM domains registered. That’s a lot of domain names out on the Internet that are either already taken or just parked in some obsolete spot gathering dust and all kinds of age. The most common names like loser.com. Jamesbrown.com are already taken by net investors who resell the rights to the names. Can you imagine someone having www.elvis.com ? He’s just waiting on the highest bidder!

There are 900 possible combinations for two letter sequences. If you’re looking for “ET” then you just won’t find it! Even allowing for digits, again every single web address is taken. Of course, that’s ignoring the fact that .COM registrars now mandate a 3-character minimum length, so it wouldn’t be an option.

All of the three-letter sequences for the main TLD extensions are also taken and adding digits to a domain name just creates a number of garbage domain entries. If you’re dying to acquire great domains and unique domain names, they’ll free up sometimes only to be auctioned off through unique domain name sales.

The longer the domain name that you choose, the more that the possibilities are that it could be available presuming that you’re willing to accept an arbitrary sequence of letters and/or digits. For example, most organizations have 4 letter acronyms (WQAM.com and AFTA.org so you may have a chance using over 4 letters to get the domain name that you want in acronym style!

Of course many of the registered domains are ever, visited, with a huge percentage having nothing more than a “parked page” (users pay domain registrars to put up ads for themselves on these type of parked pages). There are so many combinations and back door tricks to domain name cataloging and classification until the possibilities are endless.

The rule is to obtain a domain name that closely resembles who you are about which gives you an identity and brand on the internet.

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Finding The Best Rated Web Hosting

You want the best hosting provider for your website. You want a host that is reliable, trustworthy, and inexpensive. You need a web host that can handle the space of your website as it is now as well as any future growth. Bandwidth limits may be important as well if you are expecting (or hoping for) large amounts of traffic to your website. And, you need a host that has a fast connection so that your website visitors will not have issues in connecting to your site.

The problem is that many web hosting providers may fit all of these qualifications. So, how can you know which one may be the best choice for your website?

Perhaps the easiest way to select the best web host is to compare several hosting providers. Luckily, you do not have to do this manually; there are many websites that compare and contrast web hosts in many different categories.

Many of the comparison websites state that they list the best rated web hosting packages. But, since the various comparison directories do not all list the same exact web hosts, it is likely that each website uses its own system for rating the hosting providers. Therefore, you will need to study at lest a few of these hosting comparison websites in order to get a clear picture of which web host will truly be best for your website.

The best rated web hosting comparison directories do share some common categories in describing each web host. Most of these websites list the monthly price for a hosting package, as well as the amount of disk space and bandwidth offered by each package. Also, there is typically some sort of feature or service list that details what is offered by each web host.

Many of these directories list several free web hosting packages at the top of the ratings list, presumably because these hosting packages are offered at no cost. However, it is best to look at these web hosts with a very critical eye – remember the saying, “You get what you pay for.” While there may be a free web host that is perfectly adequate, you may not want to trust your most important website to a no-cost provider.

Some web hosting directories include a great deal of information, and this data can help you to come to a decision about which host will be right for your website. For example, you may want to have a certain type of control panel for your host, maybe cPanel is what you are used to, and you would like a host that includes it. Or perhaps you need an unlimited number of email accounts or an unlimited number of domains with your website host. By reading carefully through web directories, you can get this type of information about many web hosting providers.

The best rated web hosting listed at any one website may not be the best host for you. Do your own research and find out which host fits your needs before making a choice.

You can read more about web hosting at: https://rightbiz.com/topics/web-hosting/.

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Buying A Domain Name The Right Way

When it comes to making your online presence professional, buying a domain name is one of the best things you can do for your online business. With so many free options available online, many people mistakenly think that they will be just as successful (and save money) by going the free route, but there are a few problems with that line of thought.

For one thing, when you are relying on a free blog, no matter which platform you are using, you don’t own a thing. If the service that provides the blog, say WordPress, decides that they don’t like something about your blog, they can shut it down and they don’t have to let you know they are doing it or why they are doing it.

Another problem using the free methods is that you can’t get a good domain name. You want your own unique domain name not a hybrid name tacked on to the end of the free service you’re using, it just looks more professional to have your own name.

Domain names are inexpensive and easy to buy so there’s really no reason to not buy your own. With sites like NameCheap and CrazyDomains plus many more, you can get a domain name for as cheap as $10 a year, and in many cases for much less.

Besides establishing your online presence and creating a professional look, when you buy your own domain name you can actually flip your website and sell it. It’s the same concept as when someone buys a house, fixes it up and sells it for a profit. There are sites online that will allow you to place your site up for sale, Flippa.com is one of those sites.

Just buy a good domain name, put up a site, get some traffic (and hopefully some sales) than list it on Flippa and make some money. Think about it, if you only paid $10 for a domain name and a little bit for hosting, and then you sold the site for only $200 that would be a pretty nice profit for such a quick and easy sale.

When it comes time to picking out your domain name there is a few simple things to keep in mind:

1. Do keyword research to find a list of keywords associated with your niche that get a lot of traffic every month. Then try to get one of those keywords, exactly, as your domain name. For example, in the niche for cat toys let’s say I found a great keyword that gets a lot of monthly searches without too much competition: cheap cat toys. Then I would want to use that as my domain: CheapCatToys.com. That way my domain name is a highly searched for keyword which will guarantee quite a bit of free, highly targeted, traffic.

2. If all of your marketing efforts are going to be online I wouldn’t worry too much about the extension. I’ve had equally good luck using a .com, .net, or .org. All my marketing efforts are with PPC or article marketing so no one needs to type in my domain name, they just click on a link which is why I don’t think the extensions matters too much. If you are going to be marketing in such a way that people would have to actually type in the domain name to find your site, it may make more of a difference.

Treat your online business like a business and establish your online presence and professionalism by buying domain name. The cheap route can work in a pinch but as soon as you can afford $10 or so, buy your own name.

To learn more about picking the right domain name, check out our article Domain Name Search – Fast And Short Tips.

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WordPress Site and Dangerous Hackers

Hackers – they are everywhere – so when you hear about them out on the web looking to wreak havoc on your WordPress website, it’s not at an exaggeration by any strength of the imagination. Your WordPress blog and every other website on the internet are at risk if some safety precautions are not put into place.

Malicious hackers have taken down big corporations like PayPal, banks, the US Government, and the list goes on. If they can be hacked, you are probably thinking you don’t have a chance at stopping them. You’d be wrong. With a few things that you can do yourself to help protect your site.

Of course, by no means are these tips fool proof, but they will certainly help to increase your site’s security and every little bit of help can go a long way towards decreasing your risk. After all, there will be easier targets out there.

If you protect your site and other WordPress users on the same shared web hosting server do not, then you are still at risk. If they protect their site and you choose not to then they will still be at risk. This needs to be an undertaking by all users of shared hosting space.

All websites are at risk, but some are at a higher risk than others. If you believe your site is at higher risk, then you need to put stronger measures into place. You might want to hire the pros.

For most of us, there isn’t a need for extreme measures. Just the implementation of a couple of simple security steps could save you plenty of hassle. These include a different user name than the default ‘admin,’ strong passwords, protected files, current backups, installed updates, limited login attempts, and more. Take the time to do the tasks that will protect your website from hackers or at least reduce the likelihood that you will be targeted and your website hacked.

But why are hackers so intent on hacking your WordPress website? There are numerous reasons, but these are some of the most common:

* To hijack your website’s traffic
* To access paid items
* To create links back to their website
* To collect your users email addresses
* To create links to another site (paid for links)
* To place content on your site

Being aware of these dangerous hackers is the start to making your website safe and less of a target.

To learn more read the article on our main blog – Protect Yourself from WordPress Hackers.

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Update on the Introduction of Second Level Registrations and the new .au Licensing Rules

Dear Associate Members

I am writing to update you on when we will implement direct registration at the second level of .au, and introduce new licensing rules that will apply to all Australian name spaces.

As you know, direct registration will extend to more users the many benefits of using a .au domain name.

While we had previously estimated direct registration and changes to the licensing rules would be implemented in the fourth quarter of 2019, it is critically important that the changes are widely understood, backed by an education program and supported by robust business processes throughout industry. It is also essential that these changes are implemented in a way that minimises imposts on business and avoids unintended consequences.

For these reasons, the auDA Board has this week decided to conduct an additional three-month long public consultation aimed at promoting awareness among new audiences, sharing more widely our plans to simplify the licence rules, and thoroughly understand and avoid any potential implementation issues. During this three-month period we will also take the opportunity to partner with industry to further test software changes, improve complaint processes and work with registrars to efficiently check the eligibility of applicants.

The outcome of this public consultation, together with a summary of technical and process improvements, will be considered by the auDA Board in late 2019 or early 2020, after new governance arrangements have been implemented and the reconstituted auDA Board is in place. This means that the launch of direct registration and changes to licensing rules are now likely to occur in the first half of 2020.

While the introduction of direct registration at the second level of .au and changes to licensing rules will be delayed, we remain committed to their delivery and look forward to providing you with further updates as we progress towards implementation.

The auDA Board takes its responsibilities very seriously and is committed to best-practice levels of transparency, accountability and consultation in overseeing the operation and management framework for the .au domain. The minutes of our meeting will be posted on the auDA website once they are approved at the next Board meeting, in line with the organisation’s standard practice.

Yours sincerely,

Suzanne Ewart
Chair, .au Domain Administration Ltd

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Does Your Small Business Need a Website?

How many times have you searched the internet today? Perhaps it was to check the weather, or maybe you were looking for a restaurant to try for dinner tonight.

We use the internet so much each day that we rarely stop to think about how many times we’ve turned to it for guidance or advice. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, your website is the first place people will meet your brand. If you’re a small business owner wondering whether a website is truly necessary, here’s all the reasons to put it back on your to do list.

How Australians use the internet

There are over 21 million internet users in Australia and 93% of these use the internet every day, according to ROI. A lot of this time is spent on entertainment and social media, such as music or video streaming services, Facebook and Instagram. More than half of all web traffic comes from a mobile device and close to 90% of social media users are doing so through smartphone apps. Google maintains the highest volume of search traffic at 95%, with Bing holding 3.5% and the rest scattered between various other search engines.

What do these statistics tell us? Australians are using the internet more than ever before, making a digital presence one of your small businesses most important assets. If your business doesn’t have a website, you could be missing out on reaching a huge segment of the population.

From e-commerce to trades; every business can benefit

When we want to learn new information on a product or service, most of us use the internet. A survey by the Yellow Pages showed that 89% of people had searched for information regarding a product or service on the internet. Other top internet uses included maps or directions (86%), banking (86%) and ordering goods or services online (83%). The fact that this report was made by the Yellow Pages, a previously print only directory of business ads, shows just how ubiquitous the internet has become. In fact, the printed Yellow Pages is now most popular with persons over 50 making its unique demographic reach very limited, while the online directory receives 5.2 million searches per month. If you’re looking to reach a broad, engaged audience of Australians then you need an online profile.


The benefits of a website for SMBs

The same Yellow Pages report examined how many Australians SMBs already had a web presence. Their research showed that 72% of SMBs already had a website and most of them felt it had increased their business effectiveness. How did it do this? According to 39% of these business owners, their website had increased exposure and awareness for their brand. So, what are some other benefits to a website?

Boost your credibility

If a person hears about your business and wants to learn more, they’re likely to search for you. If they can’t find anything when they search, they may question if you’re a legitimate business. A website can increase your credibility by proving you are an active Australian business with current contact details and even your ABN if you wish. A professional, modern looking website is equally important, as users do not trust webpages that appear outdated. With our custom web design services you can easily set yourself up with an impressive website.

Stay open 24/7

Small business owners’ work hours tend to extend well past the typical 9-5, but even they need to stop sometimes. If a user is searching for your business outside of regular work hours, when they’re most likely to be free, they will be put off if they cannot reach you for further information. With online availability 24/7, you can generate interest in your business even when you’re off the clock. An online contact form allows people to reach out at any hour and you can respond when it suits you.

Generate quality leads & save yourself time

How many times has a potential customer reached out only for you to realise you’re not the right service for them? By spending time getting to know your business products and services through your website first, the people who do get in touch will already know that they need what you offer. This saves you time speaking to customers who have mistakenly found their way to your business.

Expand your reach nationally (or further)

With a brick and mortar store or word of mouth promotion, you’re limited to the immediate area your business practices in. With an online presence your reach can be expanded into surrounding suburbs, nationally or even internationally should you desire. Search engine optimisation is the best way to get your website noticed and can be tailored to your desired locations.

5 essential elements for every website

If one of the reasons you’ve been reluctant to join the other SMBs with an online presence is because it all seems too complex, rest assured it’s simpler than ever. Whether you’re looking to set up a new website or want to take stock of your current online storefront, here’s the essential elements every great website requires.

Good domain name

Your domain name should be easy to remember, preferably short and its an added bonus if you can include your main area of service. For example, melbourneflorist.com.au is simple, yet effective and tells you most of what you need to know about the page that will load. Of course, many domain names are already taken, and companies are seeking innovative alternatives like emoji domains to get noticed. To find out if your preferred domain is still available use our domain registry tool.

Mobile-friendly design

As mentioned earlier, over half of web traffic is from a mobile device. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll be losing out on half your audience from the start.

User-friendly features

The best websites help the user find exactly what they’re looking for in an engaging way. They have clear navigation bars to different pages of the site, plenty of images to keep it interesting and easy to read fonts.

Engaging content

The more information you have on your website, the more users can learn about your business. Every website should have the 4 basic pages – a home page, about us, services/products and contact page. Each of these should include engaging, helpful content to tell the user all about your business, what you do and why you do it. Want to know what great, SEO-friendly content looks like? Try our free SEO content analysis and find out.

A call to action on every page

The best way to get people interacting with your website is to tell them to do it. Short, sharp call to actions on every page will remind users that the help they need is only a click away. It could be as simple as ‘Call Us Today’ or ‘Learn More’ but it should be referenced often enough that users feel incentivised to take the next step in their customer journey.


Building a web presence for your business is easy with Netregistry

When you think about why you started your business, getting a website probably wasn’t one of the reasons. It’s simply a necessary step on your road to business success. If the world of the web feels overwhelming, why not ask for help? Netregistry have both DIY and fully managed web design packages to help you get your business online and gaining traction. Speak with our consultants on 1300 638 734 to find out more about our website services.

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National Scams Awareness Week 2019: Avoiding Domain Name Related Scams

It’s currently National Scams Awareness week and in support we’re highlighting a couple of ways people are tricked when it comes to domain names and how you can avoid getting caught.

Unsolicited Offers Of Domain Names

The most common issue we see is the direct, unsolicited offers of domain names.

While this kind of activity can certainly be legitimate, we see many instances which may cross the line from legitimate marketing tactic into scam activity.

There’s a couple of flavours of this scam:

Fake renewal invoices

The registrant receives a letter from a company designed to look like an invoice demanding payment for the renewal of their domain name or a domain very similar to one they may already hold the licence for. Without close inspection the name could easily be mistaken for the domain they already hold.

‘First right of refusal’

The Registrant will receive an email from a company stating that they’ve had a request to register a domain name very similar to one held by the registrant, and that the company is legally obliged to check with the registrant first to see if they want to register it as a brand protection measure (there is no legal obligation for this to happen).

In examples we’ve seen the domain in question is either already registered, or is a sub-domain of a .com domain name – e.g. registrantname.othername.com. The company behind this scam operates in a number of ccTLDs with the same offer, backed by the same website built to look like that of a legitimate company.

How to avoid getting ripped off

Know who your domain name is registered with. If you’re unsure about any offer of a domain name from a company you unfamiliar with, talk to your registrar before you take any action and certainly don’t pay anything until you’re sure.

If you’re unsure who your registrar check, a WHOIS search can help you find out.

Scam sites with misspelled domain names

If you’ve spent any time using the internet, you’ll know that instances of people trying to pass themselves off as other businesses as part of phishing scams are rife.  One of the tactics phishing scammers use is a misspelled domain name which looks very much like that of a brand/organistion they know.

Scamwatch has a great resource you can use to spot the signs of an online scam.

In addition to those signs, we’d advise some extra steps when it comes to checking if an offer that seems too good to be true is just that.

Double check the domain name spelling

We often see instances where scammers use domain names that imitate those of well known brands but with slight misspellings or additions like hyphens. Check any domain names carefully and verify whether it is actually legitimate by verifying the company’s address with via a web search.

Check the WHOIS information

If it’s a .au domain you’re unsure about, a WHOIS search can give you clues to help you decide whether a site or email is legitimate.

If a scammer is imitating a legitimate company they often fraudulently use that company’s corporate details as the registrant information.

One giveaway in the WHOIS information is that the Registrant and Registrant Contact fields don’t align  - the listed email address might be a Gmail address where you would usually expect it to be a corporate one.

This isn’t always a sure sign of a scam, but it’s another point that should be considered when you’re weighing up whether something is legitimate.

Also, in the case of a com.au or net.au domain, you can cross check the ABN or ACN with the Australian Business Register or ASIC registry to make sure the details match those on the domain registration.

Stay informed

Knowing what to look for when it comes to scams is important as online scams are constantly evolving and getting more sophisticated.

Check out the information on Scams Awareness Week 2019 and the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s Stay Smart Online resource to learn more about how to avoid being caught by online scams.

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From the auDA Chair: Update on the Appointment of auDA Directors

Dear Associate Members,

I am writing to update you on the progress and process for the reconstitution of the auDA Board.

As previously advised, the .au Domain Administration Ltd Nomination Committee was established earlier this year and in accordance with its charter is now moving to select candidates for a reconstituted auDA Board.

The Board will consist of six independent directors, one of whom will be the independent Chair plus four elected directors.  An advertisement calling for expressions of interest for the positions of Independent Chair and five independent directors appeared in the Australian Financial Review on Friday, 19 July 2019. A very strong response has been received. The independent Directors will be recommended by the Committee for appointment to the Board.

An advertisement calling for expressions of interest for the positions of four elected directors will now appear in the Australian Financial Review on Friday, 9 August, 2019. auDA Associate Members will elect these four Board members from a slate of candidates approved by the Committee later this year.

Kathleen Townsend Executive Solutions has been engaged to assist the search process.

We look forward to keeping you informed throughout this process.

Yours sincerely,

Suzanne Ewart
Chair, .au Domain Administration Ltd

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Call for Expressions of Interest: Elected Non-Executive Board Directors

.au Domain Administration Ltd (auDA) is Australia’s Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) administrator which oversees the operation and management framework of the .au domain of the Internet.  auDA is a not for profit public company limited by guarantee and endorsed by the Australian Government and by the global Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and its job is to provide a safe, secure and operational namespace for more than 20 million Australian Internet users.

Following a Federal Government review, auDA is reconstituting its Board. This presents an important opportunity for Board members to exercise a leadership role, shaping the future of the organisation and the policy agenda for the .au domain industry, directly influencing its strategic direction.

The Nomination Committee is in the process of receiving and assessing applications for a Chair and five independent non-executive directors and are now seeking candidates for four elected non-executive directors. The Nomination Committee will assess applicants for the elected positions prior to a ballot by the associate members of auDA to determine the four elected directors.

Candidates wishing to be considered for election will need sound analytic and communication skills, a deep understanding of good governance and commitment to ethics and integrity and both the willingness and time to contribute constructively to the Board.  Collectively, the Board Directors will need to cover a broad mix of skills including:

  • Strategy, planning and policy development
  • Governance      
  • Relevant technical and industry knowledge         
  • Stakeholder relations
  • Finance and audit            
  • Leadership

The auDA Board is expected to meet monthly in Melbourne. 

The Directors will be remunerated and reasonable travel expenses to attend meetings will be reimbursed.

Depending on their role, candidates who are selected for appointment may be required to obtain and maintain a Negative Vetting 1 security clearance.

For a full candidate information pack and instructions on how to express your interest in being a candidate for election to the auDA board, please email admin@kathleentownsend.com.au.

Candidates who have already applied for nominated director positions and who indicated preparedness to be considered for election do not need to apply again.

Applications close 9.00am 23 August 2019.

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